Jesse David Leland Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Helena, on September 13, 2011, before Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell, JESSE DAVID LELAND, a 28-year-old resident of Helena, pled guilty to manufacture of marijuana. Sentencing has been set for December 15, 2011. He is currently released on special conditions.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paulette L. Stewart, Jessica T. Fehr and Michael T. Wolfe are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States. The government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
From the fall of 2009 until March 14, 2011, LELAND and his co-defendants grew marijuana in Helena.
During July 2010, law enforcement counted more than 750 marijuana plants grown by LELAND and his co-defendants at their marijuana grow site located north of Helena. The 750 count did not include approximately 350 marijuana clones.
On March 14, 2011, law enforcement executed a search warrant regarding LELAND's marijuana cultivation. At that time, there were no live marijuana plants at the marijuana grow location north of Helena. However law enforcement did remove marijuana and marijuana products from LELAND's the site.
The Drug Enforcement Administration laboratory tested some of the substances and confirmed that items seized did contain marijuana.
LELAND faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and could be sentenced to 40 years, a $2,000,000 fine and at least 4 years supervised release.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the following federal, state and local law enforcement agencies: the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Environmental Protection Agency-Criminal Investigation Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. These federal agencies were assisted by the Montana Division of Criminal Investigations, and local High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task forces, the Central Montana Drug Task Force, the Missouri River Drug Task Force, the Helena Police Department, and the Lewis & Clark Sheriff's Office.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.